MMTA has been working cooperatively with Maine Energy Marketers Association and we just learned from the State Police, in consultation with FMCSA and the Governor’s Office, that the Federal COVID Hours of Service Emergency Declaration has been deemed to apply to delivery of heating fuels. This is based on interpretation and guidance issued to Maine from FMCSA.
This means that drivers of heating fuels (transport and peddle delivery) and petroleum products named in the COVID emergency declaration (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and ethyl alcohol) may deliver under the COVID Hours of Service Emergency Declaration issued by FMCSA. (see link here: Extension of the Modified Emergency Declaration 2020-002 Under 49 CFR § 390.25 (November 29, 2021) | FMCSA (dot.gov)
IMPORTANT: This is a COVID-19 emergency declaration to provide relief during the COVID emergency.
Some key takeaways of the interpretation of this FMCSA Emergency Declaration are:
- Emergency Declaration only applies to Hours of Service.
- This is NOT a heating emergency due to cold, or lack of supply of heating fuels.
- Relief to Hours of Service only applies when providing relief to COVID emergency. Additional hours of service are available only to supply relief to hours of service lost due to drivers being out because of COVID.
- Motor Carriers utilizing the waiver must track and report hours utilized in their FMCSA PORTAL. Instructions are in the link above and more information to follow.
To help explain or clarify, here are a few examples:
Example 1: A company with 2 drivers that does not have a loss of drivers due to COVID are not able to extend their hours under the Emergency Declaration.
Example 2: A company with 10 drivers who have 3 out due to COVID may utilize the Emergency Declaration to extend the hours of service for their remaining drivers who are providing relief to the emergency caused by the 3 drivers out due to COVID.
Example 3: A company or terminal may utilize the Emergency Declaration to assist another company or terminal who has drivers out due to COVID.
REMINDER: Drivers may not operate when ILL or FATIGUED. Motor Carriers are reminded to utilize good judgement and safety when driving and working hours under the Emergency Declaration.
Finally, The Governor’s Office will continue to review requests for a State Heating Emergency Proclamation based on weather conditions statewide.
MMTA and MEMA will continue to work with State and Federal Officials and will keep our members up to speed. Please feel free to contact us with questions.